Trio Tapped For All-Star Game


A trio of standouts on the 1999 state champion Longhorn baseball team have been tapped to play in Arizona's most prestigious post-season classic.

Brian Cork, Marc Bennett and Josh McRae will participate in the Arizona Coaches' Association North vs. South All-Star game, scheduled for 7 p.m. June 12, on the campus of Grand Canyon College in Phoenix.

The three will be members of the South team coached by Scott Cook of Cactus Shadows and Otis Beesley of Eloy Santa Cruz.

The annual all-star games pit graduated seniors from around the state against one another in one final prep clash.

The players are chosen to the two teams in a voting of coaches' association members at the conclusion of the regular season.

With five seniors on the past PHS squad, only two -- Hunter Walden and Jeremy Reynolds -- will not be in the all-star game. Horn coach Teddy Pettet said the two could have been included but chose not to be. Both had family commitments the day of the celestial shoot-out.

Walden and Reynolds, however, are listed as all-star alternates and could be added to the South team if one, or either, changes his plans.

During the Longhorn's spring run to the school's first state baseball championship, Cork played a huge role as the team's lead-off hitter.

In batting .456, Cork led the Longhorns in at-bats (114), runs scored (52), hits (52), triples (6), stolen bases (13) and total bases (101).

Defensively, Cork was a stellar outfielder known for his range and throwing arm. Cork also was an All-Central first team selection.

As the Horns' first-line catcher, Bennett has been a vital battery mate for PHS pitchers the past three season.

During his senior campaign he served as the backstop for all-state pitcher Bryan Zumbro.

In a season loaded with talented Central Division catchers -- including Cactus Shadows' Cooper Moorehead and Matt Rodriquez of Santa Cruz -- Bennett proved he could play with the best. His offensive contributions include a .313 batting average, 31 runs scored, 18 RBIs and three home runs.

Bennett slugged his lone triple of the year during the crucial stage of the Longhorns' 23-11 state champion win over Cactus Shadows.

On the hit, he showed the reason several college football coaches have been recruiting him to play tight end -- speed.

After muscling the shot to deep left center, Bennett sped around the base paths as if he were a shifty leadoff hitter looking to stretch a single into extra bases.

Teammates say Bennett has always had the speed -- he had eight stolen bases -- it's just that he doesn't often have the opportunity to showcase it crouched behind the plate.

McRae, an outfielder, swung one of the most feared bats in the Central Division, finishing with a .469 average. On any other team, McRae might have been the leading hitter, but the Horns boasted a murderers' row line-up that finished with a .412 team average.

In 96 at-bats, McRae swatted 12 doubles, two triples and two home runs. He finished with 35 RBI runs and 35 runs scored. On the base paths, he was one of five real threats the Horns had to steal a base, finishing with five thefts in five attempts.

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